Show Notes for Episode 9: Joe Haldeman and the 2020 Hugo Finalists for Best Novel

In episode 9 of Essence of Wonder, genre-shaping author Joe Haldeman and the 2020 Hugo finalists for Best Novel, Alix E. Harrow, Seanan McGuire, and Arkady Martine, joined Vincent Docherty for a panel discussion. Special guest Alan Lightman came on the show to talk to Joe, and leadership expert Stephen Kelner returned with his analysis of leadership in The Forever War.

The episode was recorded in front of a live audience.

Guests

With panel discussion moderator, Vincent Docherty.

Videos

Videos will be available soon.

Nominated books for Best Novel – Were on the show

Nominated books for Best Novel – Weren’t on the show

References

Quotes from the Show

“We give lip service to acceptance, as though acceptance were enough.”

— Octavia E. Butler from Parable of the Sower, as quoted by Gadi Evron, on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“You can tell a story from a people, but the people’s story is theirs to tell.”

— Malka Older as quoted by Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“All good stories contain a moment where the horrors of what people can do to one another must be named, and must be confronted.”

— Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“History teaches us that in order to live in the amazing futures that are promised, we have to fight against injustice and oppression, however we can.”

— Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“Science fiction isn’t just thinking about the world out there. It’s also thinking about how that world might be—a particularly important exercise for those who are oppressed, because if they’re going to change the world we live in, they—and all of us—have to be able to think about a world that works differently.”

— Samuel R. Delany as quoted by Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“Science fiction writers are as much historians as scientists.”

— David Brin as quoted by Karen Castelletti on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“In the 70s you couldn’t have feelings for a gay man without them being considered romantic. I had a gay friend, and I wrote him into the Forever War to explore my feelings for him.”

— joe Haldeman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“There is science fiction in the world, but you don’t know that until the last paragraph. and then it all becomes science fiction.”

— Joe Haldeman’s writing prompt from his MIT class on science fiction writing, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“Science fiction is about the relation between science and humanity”

— Joe Haldeman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“Often the most profound impact you have on people is unintended.”

— Joe Haldeman on getting unexpected comments on what he’s written, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“[What it is like to] Be the person who betrays your culture to save your culture.”

— Arkady Martine on being bold in today’s world, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I don’t like the way Kindles smell.”

— Joe Haldeman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I once sat down and wrote a whole novel on a manual typewriter because I wanted to see how it felt, and it was tiring.”

— Joe Haldeman on trying different things as a writer, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“We, as Geeks, have prepared for this our whole lives, stay at home, alone? Bring it on!”

— Gadi Evron on Covid-19 lockdown, Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“There’s a temptation to look at how we see things today and forget that there was a process by which culture moves on and learns new ways of interacting.”

— Karen Castelletti on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I think a writer who is mainly concerned with [the impact of their work], is probably not a very good writer.”

— Joe Haldeman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“Power shared is power multiplied, and what we can do together is more power powerful than anything we can do alone.”

— Stephen Kelner on empowering leadership, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“If you’ve ever studied ancient greek… God I’m such a nerd.”

— Arkady Martine on how to pronounce Teixcalaanli, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I’m always going to write happy endings because I’m privileged to do so.”

— Alix E. Harrow on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“They can burn our books, they can take away our stories, they cannot burn the oral tradition.”

— Seanan McGuire on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“If you’re smarter than even the slowest boy in your class, you’re broken, there’s something wrong with you and the very same people who are constantly putting you up on pedestals will be waiting right there to drag you down again.”

— Seanan McGuire on the American gifted and talented school system, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“Just write two much shorter novels and then put them together in a book, which is cheating, and that’s how you win.”

— Alix E. Harrow on how to cheat at writing novels, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“How could I have a book that played on all the tropes I loved, but actively subvert them?”

— Alix E. Harrow on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“Writing a novel is just the art of putting ninety thousand to three hundred thousand words in a line that has a logical order to it.”

— Seanan McGuire on the process of writing novels, Episode 9 of Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron

“When you’re carrying those Hugos, don’t trip, they’re very dangerous.”

— Joe Haldeman on the dangers of winning awards, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I was always told that when female liberation happened half the seats would be ours. So, for a moment when we started actually seeing the push toward ‘we need to make sure everyone gets a seat’ I felt like my seats are being taken away. Half the seats were supposed to be mine, and I had a sitdown with my therapist, looked at that reaction, and went ‘why am I having this emotional response to something that never belonged to me being given to someone who needs and deserves it?”

— Seanin McGuire on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron.

“One of the things you discover very quickly writing fanfic is that anytime a canon property presents people with siblings, there will be a substantial number of people who want to see them get naked together.”

— Seanan McGuire on the nature of fan fiction, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I like the feel of forming a story one word at a time.”

— Joe Haldeman on writing novels, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I have privileges that have made my life easier than if I didn’t have them. And if I want to say ‘no no, I grew up on welfare, I have bad teeth, I was poor, I was bullied in school, so anything you say about privilege doesn’t apply to me.’ I’m not helping the conversation, I’m hurting the conversation.”

— Seanin McGuire on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron.

“I think the trick is to make a living doing something you enjoy.”

— Joe Haldeman on why he’s a writer, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“This fractious empire stuff is horrid, what if we imagined a perfect one populated conveniently by animals that could be peacefully ruled by four white children?”

— Alix E. Harrow on Narnia, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“When you have never been hurt, equality starts to look like oppression real fast. Our first resource is self awareness.”

— Seanan McGuire on situations beyond our experience, from Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I hope we can hear all the stories that our black writers and creatives have to tell us, not just the ones that talk about the pain of the current moment. I want to hear those too, but I want to hear everything.”

— Arkady Martine on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“I don’t write to convey a specific message, I write to investigate a specific question.”

— Arkady Martine on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

“That’s one of the gifts of writing science fiction is that you can get real close to some very very very nasty things without cutting yourself open on them.”

— Arkady Martine on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 9.

Hosts

Vincent Docherty
Karen Castelletti
Gadi Evron

Production Team

Daria Medved
John Dodd
Ian Stockdale
Katie Anderson
Alan Bond
Dragos Ruiu
Margarita Jaitner
Daniel Goldberg
Niamh Kearney
Michael Rafferty
Gadi Evron
Karen Castelletti

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